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THE HARVARD CLASSICS
EDITED BY CHARLES W ELIOT LL D
BY NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI
BY SIR THOMAS MORE
ADDRESS TO THE GERMAN NOBILITY
CONCERNING CHRISTIAN LIBERTY
BY MARTIN LUTHER
WITH INTRODUCTIONS AND NOTES
P F COLLIER & SON COMPANY
By P. F. Collier & Son
MANUFACTURED IN U. S. A.
The Prince . . .... . Niccolo Machiavelli
translated by n. h. thomson
I, Of the Various Kinds of Princedom, and of the
Ways In Which They Are Acquired .... 7
II. Of Hereditary Princedoms 7
III. Of Mixed Princedoms ' 8
IV. Why the Kingdom of Darius, Conquered by Alex-
ander, Did Not, on Alexander's Death, Rebel
Against His Successors 16
V. How Cities or Provinces Which Before Their Ac-
quisition Have Lived Under Their Own Laws
Are To Be Governed 18
VI. Of New Princedoms Which a Prince Acquires With
His Own Arms and by Merit 20
VII. Of New Princedoms Acquired By the Aid of Others
and By Good Fortune 2$
VIII. Of Those Who By Their Crimes Come to Be
IX. Of the Civil Princedom . . • 34
X. How the Strength of All Princedoms Should Be
XL Of Ecclesiastical Princedoms 39
XII. How Many Different Kinds of Soldiers There Are,
and of Mercenaries 42
XIII. Of Auxiliary, Mixed, and National Arms ... 47
XIV. Of the Duty of a Prince In Respect of Military
XV. Of the Qualities In Respect of Which Men, and
Most of all Princes, Are Praised or Blamed . 53
XVI. Of Liberality and Miserliness .. .. ,. M . ... ... S4
HC— Vol. 36 I (A),
XVII. Of Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better
To Be Loved or Feared 56
XVIII. How Princes Should Keep Faith 59
XIX. That a Prince Should Seek to Escape Contempt and
XX. Whether Fortresses, and Certain Other Expedients
to Which Princes Often Have Recourse, are
Profitable or Hurtful 71
XXI. How a Prince Should Bear Himself So As to
Acquire Reputation 75
XXII. Of the Secretaries of Princes 79
XXIII. That Flatterers Should Be Shunned ..... 80
XXIV. Why the Princes of Italy Have Lost Their States 82
XXV. What Fortune Can Effect in Human Affairs, and
How She May Be Withstood 83
XXVI. An Exhortation to Liberate Italy from the Bar-
The Life of Sir Thomas More . . . William Roper 93
Utopia Sir Thomas More 143
translated by ralph robinson
The Ninety-five Theses Martin Luther 265
translated by r. s. grignon
Address to the Christian Nobility of the German
Nation Respecting the Reformation of the Chris-
tian Estate ........ Martin Luther 276
translated by c. a. buck h el m
Concerning Christian Liberty . . Martin Luther 353
translated by r. s. grignon
Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the most brilliant and versatile
intellects of the Italian Renaissance, was born at Florence, May
3, 1469. He entered the public service as a young man, and be-
tween 1500 and 1512 he was employed in a number of diplomatic
missions to the other Italian cities, to France, and to Germany,
When the Medici returned to power in Florence in 1512, Machia-
velli lost his positions, and suffered imprisonment and torture.
On his release in the following year, he retired to the country and
devoted himself to study and the composition of his most famous
work, "The Prince." Other zvritings followed; and in the last
year of his life we find him again in active life, this time as a
soldier. He died June 21, 1527.
A more detailed account of Machiavelli, by Lord Macaulay, will
be found in the volume of "English Essays" in the Harvard
Machiavelli 's aim in " The Prince " has been very variously in-
terpreted. His motive was probably mainly patriotic; but the
exclusion of moral considerations in his treatment of politics led,
even in his own century, to his name's becoming a synonym for
all that is diabolical in public and private policy. Whatever may
be the relation of the methods expounded in " The Prince" to his
personal ideals, the book remains a most vivid and suggestive
picture of political conditions in the Italy of the Renaissance.
Machiavelli } s " Discourses on Livy's Decades " deals on a larger
scale with many of the topics of "The Prince"; his "Art of
War" elaborates his views on the military side; and his "History
of Florence," his "Life of Castruccio Castracani," and his
comedy, " Mandragola," are characteristic products of an accom-
plished man of letters who one time was diplomat and soldier, at
another historian, poet, and dramatist. Few men represent so
thoroughly the extraordinary versatility of that wonderful age.
"Of all Machiavelli' s writings" says Gamett, "'The Prince 3
is the most famous, and deservedly, for it is the most character-
istic. Few subjects of literary discussion have occasioned more
controversy than the purpose of this celebrated book. Some
have beheld in it a manual for tyrants, like the memoirs of
Tiberius, so diligently perused by Domiiian; others have re"
garded it as a refined irony upon tyranny, on the sarcastic plan
of Swiff s Directions to Servants, if so humble an analogy be
permissible. From various points of view it might alternately
pass for either, but its purpose is accurately conveyed by neither
interpretation. Machiavelli was a sincere though too supple a
republican, and by no means desired the universal prevalence of
tyranny throughout Italy. . . . His aim probably was to
show how to build up a principality capable of expelling the
foreigner and restoring the independence of Italy. But this
intention could not be safely expressed, and hence his work
seems repulsive, because the reason of state which he propounds
as an apology for infringing the moral code appears not pa-
triotic, but purely selfish. . . . With all his faults and
oversights, nothing can deprive Machiavelli of the glory of hav-
ing been the modern Aristotle in politics, the first, or at least the
first considerable writer who derived a practical philosophy
from history, and exalted statecraft into science."
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES
Disputation of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning
Penitence and Indulgences
IN the desire and with the purpose of elucidating the
truth, a disputation will be held on the underwritten
propositions at Wittemberg, under the presidency of
the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Monk of the Order of
St. Augustine, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and
ordinary Reader of the same in that place. He therefore
asks those who cannot be present and discuss the subject
with us orally, to do so by letter in their absence. In the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, in saying " Repent
ye," 1 etc., intended that the whole life of believers should
2. This word cannot be understood of sacramental pen-
ance, that is, of the confession and satisfaction which are
performed under the ministry of priests.
3. It does, not, however, refer solely to inward penitence;
nay such inward penitence is naught, unless it outwardly
produces various mortifications of the flesh.
4. The penalty 2 thus continues as long as the hatred of
self — that is, true inward penitence — continues: namely, till
our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The Pope has neither the will nor the power to remit
any penalties, except those which he has imposed by his own
authority, or by that of the canons.
6. The Pope has no power to remit any guilt, except by
1 In the Lathi, from the Vulgate, " agite p&niteniiam," sometimes trans-
lated " Do penance." The effect of the following theses depends to some
extent on the double meaning of " pcenitentia " — penitence and penance.
2 I. e. "Pcefia," the connection between " pcena " and " pcenitentia " being
declaring and warranting it to have been remitted by God;
or at most by remitting cases reserved for himself ; in which
cases, if his power were despised, guilt would certainly re-
7. God never remits any man's guilt, without at the same
time subjecting him, humbled in all things, to the authority
of his representative the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living;
and no burden ought to be imposed on the dying, according
9. Hence the Holy Spirit acting in the Pope does well
for us, in that, in his decrees, he always makes exception of
the article of death and of necessity.
10. Those priests act wrongly and unlearnedly, who, in
the case of the dying, reserve the canonical penances for
11. Those tares about changing of the canonical penalty
into the penalty of purgatory seem surely to have been
sown while the bishops were asleep.
12. Formerly the canonical penalties were imposed not
after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying pay all penalties by death, and are already
dead to the canon laws, and are by right relieved from
14. The imperfect soundness or charity of a dying person
necessarily brings with it great fear; and the less it is, the
greater the fear it brings.
15. This fear and horror is sufficient by itself, to say
nothing of other things, to constitute the pains of purgatory,
since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven appear to differ as de-
spair, almost despair, and peace of mind differ.
17. With souls in purgatory it seems that it must needs
be that, as horror diminishes, so charity increases.
18. Nor does it seem to be proved by any reasoning or
any scriptures, that they are outside of the State of merit
or of the increase of charity.
19. Nor does this appear to be proved, that they are sure
and confident of their own blessedness, at least all of them*
though we may be very sure of it.
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES 267
20. Therefore the Pope, when he speaks of the plenary
remission of all penalties, does not mean simply of all, but
only of those imposed by himself.
21. Thus those preachers of indulgences are in error who
say that, by the indulgences of the Pope, a man is loosed
and saved from all punishment.
22. For in fact he remits to souls in purgatory no penalty
which they would have had to pay in this life according to
23. If any entire remission of all penalties can be granted
to any one, it is certain that it is granted to none but the
most perfect — that is, to very few.
24. Hence the greater part of the people must needs be
deceived by this indiscriminate and high-sounding promise
pf release from penalties.
25. Such power as the Pope has over purgatory in gen-
eral, such has every bishop in his own diocese, and every
curate in his own parish, in particular.
26. The Pope acts most rightly in granting remission to
souls, not by the power of the keys (which is. of no avail in
this case), but by the way of suffrage.
2j. They preach man, who say that the soul flies out of
purgatory as soon as the money thrown into the chest
28. It is certain that, when the money rattles in the chest,
avarice and gain may be increased, but the suffrage of the
Church depends on the will of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all the souls in purgatory desire
to be redeemed from it, according to the story told of Saints
Severinus and Paschal?
30. No man is sure of the reality of his own contrition,
much less of the attainment of plenary remission.
31. Rare as is a true penitent, so rare is one who truly
buys indulgences — that is to say, most rare.
32. Those who believe that, through letters of pardon,
they are made sure of their own salvation, will be eternally
damned along with their teachers.
33. We must especially beware of those who say that
these pardons from the Pope are that inestimable gift of
God by which man is reconciled to Go&
34. For the grace conveyed by these pardons has respect
only to the penalties of sacramental satisfaction, which are
of human appointment.
35. They preach no Christian doctrine, who teach that
contrition is not necessary for those who buy souls out of
purgatory or buy confessional licences.
36. Every Christian who feels true compunction has of
right plenary remission of pain and guilt, even without
letters of pardon.
37. Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has a
share in all the benefits of Christ and of the Church given
him by God, even without letters of pardon.
38. The remission, however, imparted by the Pope is by
no means to be despised, since it is, as I have said, a declara-
tion of the Divine remission.
39. It is a most difficult thing, even for the most learned
theologians, to exalt at the same time in the eyes of the
people the ample effect of pardons and the necessity of true
40. True contrition seeks and loves punishment; while the
ampleness of pardons relaxes it, and causes men to hate it, or
at least gives occasion for them to do so.
41. Apostolical pardons ought to be proclaimed with cau-
tion, lest the people should falsely suppose that they: are
placed before other good works of charity.
42. Christians should be taught that it is not the mind of
the Pope tMat the buying of pardons is to be in any way
compared to works of mercy.
43. Christians should be taught that he who gives to a
poor man, or lends to a needy man, does better than if he
44. Because, by a work of charity, charity increases and
the man becomes better; while, by means of pardons, he
does not become better, but only freer from punishment.
45. Christians should be taught that he who seeg any one
in need, and passing him by, gives money for pardons, is
not purchasing for himself the indulgences of the Pope,
but the anger of God.
46. Christians should be taught that, unless they have
superfluous wealth, they are bound to keep what is necessary
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES 269
for the use of their own households, and by no means to
lavish it on pardons.
47. Christians should be taught that, while they are free
to buy pardons, they are not commanded to do so.
48. Christians should be taught that the Pope, in granting
pardons, has both more need and more desire that devout
prayer should be made for him, than that money should be
49. Christians should be taught that the Pope's pardons
are useful, if they do not put their trust in them; but most
hurtful, if through them they lose the fear of God.
50. Christians should be taught that, if the Pope were
acquainted with the exactions of the preachers of pardons,
he would prefer that the Basilica of St. Peter should be
burnt to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin,
flesh and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians should be taught that, as it would be the
duty, so it would be the wish of the Pope, even to sell, if
necessary, the Basilica of St. Peter, and to give of his own
money to very many of those from whom the preachers of
pardons extract money.
52. Vain is the hope of salvation through letters of par-
don, even if a commissary — nay, the Pope himself — were
to pledge his own soul for them.
53. They are enemies of Christ and of the Pope who, in
order that pardons may be preached, condemn the word of
God to utter silence in other churches.
54. Wrong is done to the word of God when, in the same
sermon, an equal or longer time is spent on pardons than
55. The mind of the Pope necessarily is, that if pardons,
which are a very small matter, are celebrated with single
bells, single processions, and single ceremonies, the Gospel,
which is a very great matter, should be preached with a
hundred bells, a hundred processions, and a hundred cere-
56. The treasures of the Church, whence the Pope grants
indulgences, are neither sufficiently named nor known among
the people of Christ.
57. Ife is clear that they are at least not temporal treas-
ures, for these are not so readily lavished, but only accumu-
lated, by many of the preachers.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and of the saints,
for these, independently of the Pope, are always working
grace to the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell to the
59. St. Lawrence said that the treasures of the Church
are the poor of the Church, but he spoke according to the
use of the word in his time.
60. We are not speaking rashly when we say that the
keys of the Church, bestowed through the merits of Christ,
are that treasure.
61. For it is clear that the power of the Pope is alone suf-
ficient for the remission of penalties and of reserved cases.
62. The true treasure of the Church is the Holy Gospel
of the glory and grace of God.
6$. This treasure, however, is deservedly most hateful,
because it makes the first to be last.
64. While the treasure of indulgences is deservedly most
acceptable, because it makes the last to be first.
65. Hence the treasures of the gospel are nets, wherewith
of old they fished for the men of riches.
66. The treasures of indulgences are nets, wherewith they
now fish for the riches of men.
67. Those indulgences, which the preachers loudly pro-
claim to be the greatest graces, are seen to be truly such as
regards the promotion of gain.
68. Yet they are in reality in no degree to be compared to
the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to . receive the com-
missaries of apostolical pardons with all reverence.
70. But they are still more bound to see to it with all
their eyes, and take heed with all their ears, that these
men do not preach their own dreams in place of the Pope's
71. He who speaks against the truth o£ apostolical par-
dons, let him be anathema and accursed.
J2. But he, on the other hand, who exerts himself against
the wantonness and licence of speech of &e preachers of
pardons, let him be blessed.
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES 271
72, As the Pope justly thunders against those who use
any kind of contrivance to the injury of the traffic in par-
74. Much more is it his intention to thunder against those
who, under the pretext of pardons, use contrivances to the
injury of holy charity and of truth.
75. To think that Papal pardons have such power that
they could absolve a man even if — by an impossibility —
he had violated the Mother of God, is madness.
j6. We affirm, on the contrary, that Papal pardons cannot
take away even the least of venal sins, as regards its guilt.
77* The saying that, even if St. Peter were now Pope,
he could grant no greater graces, is blasphemy against St.
Peter and the Pope.
78. We affirm, on the contrary, that both he and any other
Pope have greater graces to grant — namely, the Gospel,
powers, gifts of healing, etc. (1 Cor. xii. 9.)
79. To say that the cross set up among the insignia of
the Papal arms is of equal power with the cross of Christ,
80. Those bishops, curates, and theologians who allow
such discourses to have currency among the people, will
have to render an account.
81. This licence in the preaching of pardons makes it no
easy thing, even for learned men, to protect the reverence
due to the Pope against the calumnies, or, at all events, the
keen questionings of the laity.
82. As for instance : — Why does not the Pope empty
purgatory for the sake of most holy charity and of the
supreme necessity of souls — this being the most just of all
reasons — if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the
sake of that most fatal thing, money, to be spent On build-
ing a basilica — this being a very slight reason?
83. Again : why do funeral masses and anniversary masses
for the deceased continue, and why does not the Pope re-
turn, or permit the withdrawal of the funds bequeathed for
this purpose, since it is a wrong to pray for those who are
already redeemed ?
84. Again : what is this new kindness of God and the Pope,
in that, for money's sake, they permit an impious man and
an enemy of God to redeem a pious soul which loves God,
and yet do not redeem that same pious and beloved soul,
out of free charity, on account of its own need?
85. Again : why is it that the penitential canons, long since
abrogated and dead in themselves in very fact and not only
by usage, are yet still redeemed with money, through the
granting of indulgences, as if they were full of life,
86. Again : why does not the Pope, whose riches are at
this day more ample than those of the wealthiest of the
wealthy, build the one Basilica of St. Peter with his own
money, rather than with that of poor believers?
87. Again: what does the Pope remit or impart to those
who, through perfect contrition, have a right to plenary re-
mission and participation?
88. Again: what greater good would the Church receive
if the Pope, instead of once, as he does now, were to bestow
these remissions and participations a hundred times a day
on any one of the faithful?
89. Since it is the salvation of souls, rather than money,
that the Pope seeks by his pardons, why does he suspend the
letters and pardons granted long ago, since they are equally
90. To repress these scruples and arguments of the lait}
by force alone, and not to solve them by giving reasons, is
to expose the Church and the Pope to the ridicule of their
enemies, and to make Christian men unhappy.
91* If, then, pardons were preached according to the
spirit and mind of the Pope, all these questions would be
resolved with ease — nay, would not exist.
92* Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the
people of Christ, " Peace, peace," and there is no peace !
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of
Christ, " The cross, the cross," and there is no cross !
94. Christians should be exhorted to strive to follow
Christ their Head through pains, deaths, and hells,
95. And thus trust to enter heaven through many; tribu«
lations, rather than in the security of peace.
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES 273
I, Martin Luther, Doctor, of the Order of Monks at
Wittenberg, desire to testify publicly that certain proposi-
tions against pontifical indulgences, as they call them, have
been put forth by me. Now although, up to the present
time, neither this most celebrated and renowned school of
ours, nor any civil or ecclesiastical power has condemned me,
ytt there are, as I hear, some men of headlong and audacious
spirit, who dare to pronounce me a heretic, as though the
matter had been thoroughly looked into and studied. But
on my part, as I have often done before, so now too, I im-
plore all men, by the faith of Christ, either to point out to
me a better way, if such a way has been divinely revealed
to any, or at least to submit their opinion to the judgment
of God and of the Church. For I am neither so rash as to
wish that my sole opinion should be preferred to that of all
other men, nor so senseless as to be willing that the word
of God should be made to give place to fables, devised by
To the respected and worthy Nicolaus von Amsdorff s
Licentiate in the Holy Scriptures and Canon of Wittenberg?
my particular and affectionate friend.
Dr. Martinus Luther.
The grace and peace of God be with you, respected, worthy
Sir, and dear friend !
The time for silence is gone, and the time to speak has come,
as we read in Ecclesiastes (iii. 7). I have, in conformity with
our resolve, put together some few points concerning the reforma-
tion of the Christian estate, with the intent of placing the same
before the Christian nobility of the German nation, in case it may
please God to help His Church by means of the laity, inasmuch
as the clergy, whom this task rather befitted, have become quite
careless. I send all this to your worships to judge and to amend
where needed. I am well aware that I shall not escape the re-
proach of taking far too much upon me in presuming, insignificant
and forsaken as I am, to address such high estates on such
weighty and great subjects, as if there were no one in the world
but Dr. Luther to have a care for Christianity and to give advice
to such wise people.
Let who will blame me, I shall not offer any excuse. Perhaps
I still owe God and the world another folly. This debt I have
now resolved honestly to discharge, as well as may be, and to be
Court fool for once in my life ; if I fail, I shall at any rate gain
this advantage: that no one need buy me a fool's cap or shave
my poll. But it remains to be seen which shall hang the bells on
the other. I must fulfil the proverb, "When anything is to be
done in the world, a monk must be in it, were it only as a
painted figure." I suppose it has often happened that a fool
has spoken wisely, and wise men have often done foolishly, as
St. Paul says, "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in
1 Nicolaus von AmsdorfE (1483-1565) was a colleague of Luther at the
university of Wittenberg, _ and one of his most zealous fellow-workers aa
the cause of the Reformation.
DEDICATORY LETTER 275
this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise" (i Cor.
Now, inasmuch as I am not only a fool, but also a sworn
doctor of the Holy Scriptures, I am glad that I have an oppor-
tunity of fulfilling my oath, just in this fool's way. I beg you
to excuse me to the moderately wise, for I know not how to
deserve the favour and grace of the supremely wise, which I
have so often sought with much labour, but now for the future
shall neither have nor regard.
God help us to seek not our glory, but His alone. Amen.
Wittenberg, in the monastry of St. Augustine, on the eve
of Si. John the Baptist in the year 1520.
Planned and Designed
at The Collier Press
By William Patten
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